2019 SEC East Predictions: Dawgs on Top for third straight season
With the college football season starting up in just a few weeks we felt the need to give our records predictions for all of the SEC East. So, here they are in the order we think they finish. *To be noted: this is for the (12) regular-season games only.
1.) Georgia: [12-0]
Having six of your twelve opponents coming off a bye week is pretty bad luck for Kirby Smart and his football team. But hey, no LSU and no Alabama on the regular-season schedule? I'll take that every time.
Georgia will certainly have the best quarterback play in the SEC East with Jake Fromm returning for his third year as the starter, and he will be playing behind the nation's best offensive line.
It seems like we say it every year here in Georgia, but this truly could be the year for the Bulldogs. It's dangerous to merely look ahead to the SEC championship game, but beating Bama seems to be the only thing left to do for Kirby Smart's football team. They will deal with Clemson when the time arrives.
2.) Florida: [9-3]
The Florida Gators will start the season blazing hot in Dan Mullen's second season. With there first five games coming against the likes of Miami, UT Martin, Kentucky, Tennessee and the oh so tough Towson.
But then the reality that is the SEC sets in as they welcome Auburn into town oct. 5th, then go to LSU the following weekend, up to Columbia to take on South Carolina the next, take a week off, then play Georgia. YIKES.
We think all three of Florida's losses this season (Auburn, LSU, and Georgia) all come within that stretch of 28 days from Oct. 5 to Nov. 2.
3.) Missouri [9-3]
Missouri has been sneaky good for seemingly their entire existence in the SEC, even winning the SEC East in 2013 & 2014, and with the transfer Kelly Bryant in town, they could make some noise this season as well.
Drawing Ole Miss & Arkansas out of the west is easy pickings, and out of conference games against Wyoming, West Virginia, Southeast Missouri State, and Troy should propel Missouri to a solid season this year.
In case you forgot who Kelly Bryant was, here's a look:
4.) Tennessee: [7-5]
Jeremy Pruitt has proven over his years as a football coach that players love to play for him. In fact, when he left Alabama to take over for Butch Jones some of his former players had extremely nice things to say. Mack Wilson said, "Pruitt was the best coach I've ever played for. You talk about a coach affecting you, he really affected me in a good way, was way more like a father figure."
The only problem? The Mack Wilson's of the world didn't pick up and follow Coach Pruitt to Knoxville, and he's turned in the #21 and #12 ranked recruiting class since arriving. That being said, Tennessee returns 16 starters this season, tied for the most in the SEC with LSU, so there's a reason to hope.
5.) South Carolina: [6-6]
There are three of Nick Saban's former assistants running around the SEC East; Kirby Smart, Jeremy Pruitt, and of course Will Muschamp. Though Muschamp has been detached from Saban for quite a while now. In fact, the last "Saban staff" Muschamp was a part of was during that retched Miami Dolphins experience.
Now into his 4th season as the Head Coach at South Carolina, he's on a similar track to the one he took at Florida, a bright second season surrounded by a lot of (6-6) type of seasons. We expect the same moving forward, even with Jake Bentley at the helm for the third straight season.
By the way, South Carolina plays Alabama, Georgia, and Clemson this season. That's numbers 1,2, and 3 on the preseason AP poll. Ouch.
6.) Kentucky: [6-6]
Kentucky had a once in a generation type of season last year. And for those of you thinking I'm exaggerating, they won 10 games for the first time since 1977. In 1977 the cost of a gallon of gas was $0.62.
Needless to say with the likes of Benny Snell, Josh Allen, Lonnie Johnson, and Mike Edwards all onto the NFL, Kentucky is going to come back down to earth this fall. Back to the days of being primarily a basketball school, and that's ok.
7.) Vanderbilt: [4-8]
Derek Mason is not a bad football coach, but he's no James Franklin. Franklin managed to put together back to back 9 win seasons and got the hell out of dodge. Whereas Mason has ranged anywhere from (3-9) to (6-7)
It's difficult for me to find 6 wins hidden somewhere in there schedule. With schools like Florida, Tennessee, and Missouri all improving this offseason, it's hard to imagine any of those teams being shocked by Vandy this year.